Chess Room Newsletter #837 | Mechanics' Institute

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Chess Room Newsletter #837

Gens Una Sumus!

Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club Newsletter #837
August 10, 2018

In order to beat Carlsen you need a “new Kasparov”: maximum pressure right from the opening. “Outplaying” Carlsen won’t work; you need to “tear him apart”. If that fails then he’s extremely hard to beat.

—Dmitry Jakovenko in 2015 (interview)

1) Mechanics’ Institute Chess Club News

The Walter Shipman Tuesday Night Marathon started last Tuesday night. It is still possible to enter the 9-round event, which is both FIDE- and USCF-rated, with a half-point bye.

From round 1 of the Shipman Tuesday Night Marathon:
White to move (Winslow–Lilles after 23...Qe7)White to move (Cunningham–McKellar after 13...Re8)
White to move (Harris–Hilliard after 25...Qb7)Black to move (Campers Jr–Badgett Jr after 22 cxd5)
Black to move (Cortinas–Cowgill after 37 g4)For the solutions, see the game scores for round 1.

Arthur Ismakov, who has juggled between low Master and high Expert for much of his career, won the 18th Charles Bagby Memorial, held July 21, with a score of 4½ from 5. He defeated National Master Romy Fuentes in the last round to top the 33-player field. Tying for second through fifth at 4–1 were Fuentes (who defeated top-seeded Siddarth Banik), Banik and the brothers Samir and Liam Llamazares of Salamanca, Spain. Arjun Sankar, Rithwik Narendra, Daniel Perlov and Renate Otterbach won book prizes for the greatest ratings upsets in the first four rounds.

The Mechanics’ Chess Club continues to look nicer and nicer. The past two years have seen the main room and annex repainted, all the chairs replaced and every table refinished and repaired by Mariusz Krubnik, who did a wonderful job. Now the men’s bathroom has been redone. Come and check out the club.

Here is a look at what the M.I.C.C. looked like in 2006 when Boris Spassky visted.

Boris Spassky lecturing to a capacity crowd at the Mechanics’. (Photo: Mechanics’ Archives)

National Master Romy Fuentes won the 38-player 18th Vladimir Pafnutieff Memorial held August 4 at the Mechanics’ Institute with a score of 4½ from 5. National Master Eric Li, Expert Ethan Boldi and Class A player David Collins of Bakersfield shared second place with four points. Collins had an excellent tournament, winning over 70 rating points. He was not, however, the farthest-travelled player. That distinction went to Catriona Dartmann Aubnell of Barcelona, Spain. Advay Bansal, David Collins, Winston Leung, Kunal Shrivastav and Anthony Acosta won book prizes for turning in the biggest upsets.

U.S. Champion Sam Shankland of Walnut Creek recently played in an exceptionally strong tournament in China where he finished next to last, but almost won one of the top prizes. All eight participants were rated over 2700 FIDE and in the top 20 to 35 players in the world going into the event.

Sam had a 62 game unbeaten streak broken by Santosh Gujrathi Vidit of India in round three, but bounced back with a win over Polish Grandmaster Jan-Krzysztof Duda, the highest-rated player (2739 FIDE) in the world under 21.

The deciding game for Sam came in round six against Le Quang Liem of Vietnam. Here is what he wrote after the battle.

Finished Hainan Danzhou with 3.0/7. Everything was going fine until a disaster in round 6, when I spoiled an excellent position, declined some repetitions, and then one oversight meant the difference between fighting for first and fighting to avoid last. Still, as setbacks come, this one should be pretty digestible, as long as I don't have recurring nightmares about Ne5-g4.

Thanks much to the Chinese Chess Federation for inviting me, it was a real honor to play such an elite event.

Final standings:

1. Yu Yangyi (CHN, 2762) – 4½/7
2. Le Quang Liem (VIE, 2728) – 4
3-6. Wei Yi (CHN, 2729), Fedoseev (RUS, 2707), Duda (POL, 2737) and Bu Xiangzhi (CHN, 2712) – 3½
7. Shankland (USA, 2727) – 3
8. Vidit (IND, 2718) – 2½


1. e4 c5 2. Nf3 e6 3. d4 cxd4 4. Nxd4 Nf6 5. Nc3 d6 6. Be3 Be7 7. f3 O-O 8. Qd2 Nc6 9. O-O-O d5 10. Be2 dxe4 11. Nxc6 bxc6 12. Qxd8 Bxd8 13. Nxe4 Nxe4 14. fxe4 Bb6 15. Bxb6 axb6 16. Kb1 Ba6 17. Bxa6 Rxa6 18. Rd6 Rfa8 19. Rhd1 g5 20. Rxc6 Rxa2 21. c4 R2a4 22. Rd7 g4 23. h3 h5 24. hxg4 hxg4 25. Rd3 Kf8 26. Kc2 b5 27. cxb5 Rxe4 28. b6 Rb8 29. Rb3 Ke8 30. Kd3 Ra4 31. Rc7 Ra6 32. b7 Rd6+ 33. Kc4 Rdd8 34. Rd3 1-0


1. d4 Nf6 2. c4 e6 3. Nf3 b6 4. g3 Bb7 5. Bg2 Bb4+ 6. Bd2 Be7 7. Nc3 c6 8. Bf4 d5 9. cxd5 Nxd5 10. O-O O-O 11. Qc2 Nxf4 12. gxf4 Nd7 13. Rfd1 Qc7 14. e3 Rfd8 15. Rac1 Rac8 16. f5 exf5 17. Qxf5 g6 18. Qh3 c5 19. d5 Bf6 20. Nd2 Qb8 21. Nde4 Bg7 22. Rc2 Nf8 23. Rcd2 Rd7 24. Qh4 Qe5 25. f4 Qe8 26. Kh1 f5 27. Ng5 Bxc3 28. bxc3 Qxe3 29. Nf3 Qxc3 30. Ne5 Rg7 31. Qf6 Re8 32. Re2


32...Ree7, 32...Rc8 or 32...Rb8.

33. Ng4! fxg4 34. Rxe8 Rf7 35. Qe6 c4 36. Rf1 c3 37. f5 Kg7 38. f6+ Kg8 39. Qe7 1-0

Sam will play a six-game match against eight-time Russian Champion Peter Svidler in late October in the Dutch town of Hoogeveen.

Thanks to Colin Ma for another donation of new chess books.

The 20th anniversary of the 1999 Koltanowski Memorial, an 18-player Scheveningen GM norm tournament, is right around the corner.

The follow photograph includes many of the participants.

Standing: L-R Guillermo Rey, Irina Krush, Jeremy Silman, Igor Zugic, Jonathan Berry (rear), Joan Arbil, Deen Hergot and Vinay Bhat (front). Kneeling: L-R Tom O’Donnell and Mark Pinto (Photo: Val Zemitis)

2) A Chess Poem by National Master Dennis Fritzinger

I’ve been trying to tell this story for some time. The setting is the Hall of Flowers in San Francisco. “John” in the poem is John Grefe while “Brandwein” is Stephen Brandwein—Dennis Fritzinger.


"the whales will eat tonight!"
is what steve said
after i won my last game
to take home a money prize.
earlier i had announced
my intention
of donating any money i won
to greenpeace.
"i'm playing for the whales,"
i said.
john, who heard me,
said with a grin
that he was playing for his guru.
my exasperated opponent
said something like
"how can i possibly do well?
i'm only playing for myself!"

3) Cyrus Lakdawala: Mr. San Diego Chess

International Master Cyrus Lakdawala has been the best player in San Diego for close to four decades, rated almost continuously over 2500 USCF since 1992, with a peak of 2597. He is also a well-respected teacher and author of numerous instructional opening monographs and game collections, primarily for Everyman Chess.

Cyrus has played many times at the Mechanics’, including the 2001 Linklater Memorial, where he made his long-overdue final International Master norm.

The following game was played in the San Diego Chess Club’s signature event, its weekly Gambito, a four-round event played with a time control of G/45. Lakdawala has won hundreds of these events.

Larsen A00
Brandon Yang Xia (2224)–Cyrus Lakdawala (2505)
San Diego Gambito #835 (1) March 31, 2018 G/45
Notes by Cyrus Lakdawala


My student Brandon played this move order to dodge the line 1.b3 d5 2.Bb2 Bg4.

1...g6 2.b3 Bg7 3.Nc3!?

3.d4 is more natural.

3...Nf6 4.Bb2 0–0 5.Nf3 c5 6.Be2 Nc6 7.0–0 d5 8.d4

8.Bb5!?; 8.Na4 b6 9.d4 cxd4 10.Nxd4 Nxd4 11.Bxd4 Bb7

8...cxd4 9.exd4

9.Nxd4 Bd7

9...Bf5 10.Re1?! Rc8?!

Immediately after I played this move I noticed the line 10...Nb4! 11.Rc1? (11.Bd3 is forced but I don't much like White's game after 11...Nxd3 12.cxd3 Bg4 with a slight edge) 11...Bh6 with a clear advantage.

11.Bd3 Bg4 12.Be2


I misassessed the line 12...Ne4! 13.Nxe4 dxe4 14.Ne5 Nxe5 15.dxe5 Qxd1 16.Raxd1 Rxc2 17.Bxg4 Rxb2 18.Rxe4 Rxa2 thinking White should draw. Maybe so, but it won't be easy.

13.Bxf3 e6 14.Ne2 b5! 15.c3 Qb6

I considered 15...e5 16.Ng3 exd4 17.cxd4.

16.Nc1 Rfd8!

16...b4 17.c4 Rfd8 18.c5 looks okay for White.


17.a3 e5!

17...b4!ł 18.cxb4 Nxb4

18...Nxd4! is stronger.


19.Nc5 Nd7 20.a3 Nc6 21.b4 a5 with a small advantage.

19...Qxb4 20.Qd3 Ne8

Target: d4, with ...Nd6 and ...Nf5.


This move wastes a critical tempo. He had to try 21.Red1.

21...Nd6 22.Rd1 Qb6


23.Ba3 Nb7

23...Qa5 24.Bc5?? Rxc5 25.dxc5 Bxa1 26.Rxa1 Qxc5 wins.

24.h4 Rc6 25.h5 Rdc8 26.Rac1?


26...Rxc1 27.Bxc1 Bxd4 28.Qxd4


More accurate than 28...Rxc1 29.Qxb6 Rxd1+ 30.Bxd1 axb6 When White can try and create an outside passed pawn on the queenside.

29.Rxd4 Rxc1+ 30.Kh2 Kg7

I was nervous about h6 ideas.

31.hxg6 hxg6 32.Ra4 a5 33.Be2 Rc5 34.a3 Nd6 35.f3 Kf6 36.b4 axb4 37.axb4 Rc2 38.Bd3 Rd2 39.Bf1 Nf5

Black is winning.

Target: g2.

40.Ra3 Rb2 41.b5 d4 42.Bd3 Ne3 43.Ra4 Nxg2 44.Kg3 e5 45.Ra6+ Kg5 46.b6 Nf4 47.Bf1 f5 48.Ra5 Rxb6 49.Rxe5 Rb2 50.Re8 d3 51.Rd8 d2 52.Bh3

52.Rd6 Rb1.

52...Ne2+ 53.Kf2 Nc3 0–1


Cyrus Lakdawala playing at the Mechanics’ Institute in the early 2000s. (Photo: Val Zemitis)

4) Frank Marshall in 1917 (Part Six) by Eduardo Bauzá Mercére

May 4, New York simul [+22-0=0]

During the evening Frank Marshall, the United States champion, gave an exhibition of his skill against twenty-two of the [Knickerbocker Field Club's] members, playing simultaneously against all the club players. Up to a late hour he had disposed of all but four of the players.

Brooklyn Eagle, 5 May 1917, p. 7

Playing against twenty-two opponents in his simultaneous exhibition at the Knickerbocker Field Club of this borough, Frank J. Marshall made a clean sweep at all of the boards, allowing neither a win nor a draw to be scored against him. Captain Hopkins, who defeated the United States champion on a former occasion, was among the contestants and this time succumbed. Other prominent adversaries of the champion were Colonel Stickle and W. S. Sinclair, leader in the Brooklyn C. C. handicap tournament.

Brooklyn Eagle, 17 May 1917, p. 23; American Chess Bulletin, 5-6/1917, p. 112

May, Marshall's Chess Divan consultation game

A lively game Marshall recently contested against two amateur opponents in consultation.

Modern Defense B06

1. d4 g6 2. e4 Bg7 3. f4 Nf6 4. e5 Nd5 5. Bc4 e6 6. Nf3 c6 7. Nc3 Nxc3 8. bxc3 d5 9. Bd3 O-O 10. O-O b6 11. Ba3 Re8 12. Ng5 Nd7 13. Bd6 h6 14. Nxf7 Kxf7 15. Qg4 Nf8 16. Bxf8 Kxf8 17. Qxg6 Qe7 18. Qh7 Bf6 19. Qxh6+ Bg7 20. Qh7 Qf7 21. f5 Ke7 22. fxe6 Qxe6 23. Qxg7+ Kd8 24. Rf7 Bd7 25. Raf1 Kc7 26. Bf5 1-0

Brooklyn Eagle, 17 May 1917

May 15

Under date of May 15 Marshall writes as follows:

"Dear Sir: I presume you are aware of the fact that Janowski has asked me to play a match this summer at Atlantic City. Such a contest would be interesting, but why not a regular tournament open to players of known strength from all parts of the country? A suitable purse could be raised toward prizes and both Janowski and myself would compete. Sincerely, F. J. Marshall"

Washington Post, 3 Jun 1917, p. 9

May 27

Frank J. Marshall, the American champion, is still at his divan, 118 West Forty-ninth street, New York City. He expects shortly, however, to move to the Atlantic City, where it will give him pleasure to meet all-comers over the board.

Philadelphia Inquirer, 27 May 1917, p. 6

June 2, Marshall again first

Frank J. Marshall, who is planning to arrange a masters tournament, to begin in Atlantic City on July 5, was again the victor in the rapid transit tournament, held at the New York City Chess Club, and in which a strong field of seven competed. Marshall made a score of 5-1, losing only to Chajes, who, however, was beaten three times. J. Bernstein, with 4-2, was placed second, while D. Janowski and C. Jaffe, with 3 1/2-3 1/2, shared the third and fourth places. Other scores were: O. Chajes, 3-3; A. Gordon, 2-4; S. Stevenson, 0-6.

Brooklyn Eagle, 7 Jun 1917, p. 3

Rapid Transit Chess in New York

From a strong field of seven competitors, including the visiting French master, Frank J. Marshall, the United States chess champion, emerged winner of first prize in the rapid transit tournament at the New York City Chess Club, with a total score of five wins out of six games played. The only opponent to defeat the American champion was Oscar Chajes, who, however, was not a prize winner on this occasion. J. Bernstein, with a score of 4-2, was the winner of second prize. D. Janowski, of Paris, shared the third and fourth prizes with C. Jaffe, of this city, each having scored 3 1/2-2 1/2. Janowski was defeated by both Marshall and Bernstein, while Jaffe drew with him. Chajes had a score of 3-3.

American Chess Bulletin, 7-8/1917, p. 170

5) Monterey 1969

The 1969 Monterey International was the career highlight of Tom Lux, who upset International Master William Addison. Lux appeared on the cover of Chess Life for winning the 1966 US Amateur.

Here is the crosstable for this event, directed by Ted Yudakufski, who ran a chess center in Monterey for many years.

6) Here and There

The Russian Olympiad team for the upcoming Olympiad will be Vladimir Kramnik, Sergey Karjakin, Ian Nepomniachtchi, Dmitry Jakovenko, and Nikita Vitiugov. The 43rd World Chess Olympiad will be held in Batumi, Georgia, from September 23 till October 6, 2018. Read about the US team here.

Anyone with an interested in chess set collecting, particularly those of Staunton design, will want to attend the event held at the World Chess Hall of Fame on August 18 during the Sinquefield Cup. More information.

7) This is the end

Here is a position from a grandmaster game.

White to move

Show solution

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